David Rawlinson 2nd, a know-how and media govt, will develop into president and chief govt officer of Qurate Retail Inc. on Oct. 1, succeeding Mike George after a two-month transition interval beginning Aug. 1.
During the transition interval, Rawlinson will function president and CEO-elect. Rawlinson, a Harvard MBA, was beforehand CEO of NielsenIQ and earlier, president of Grainger Global Online, which sells motors, lighting, materials dealing with, fasteners, plumbing, instruments, and security provides, together with stock administration providers.
For Rawlinson, will probably be his first time operating a retail company. Qurate, a multiplatform retail and media firm, operates QVC, HSN, Zulily Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Grandin Road.
“Qurate Retail operates as a unique and powerful enterprise,” Rawlinson mentioned. “The world of shopping has been forever changed by the pandemic and these brands have international scale, customer affinity and expertise in driving and meeting demand across multiple platforms to define the future of experiential retail. QVC and HSN pioneered home shopping and are now set to define a new world of seamless shopping. Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Grandin Road are all focused and modern brands with passionate customers and unique value.”
In an interview, Rawlinson singled out three priorities for Qurate: to bolster the experiential, digital, and personalization sides of the enterprise.
“That’s a big part of my mandate.”
He mentioned creating a brand new marketing strategy “is definitely something I will be working on. I have some introductory thoughts.”
On presumably bringing extra manufacturers into the Qurate portfolio, to fill any voids, Rawlinson replied, “I don’t have something actually to say on that. All of the manufacturers have been modernized. They have excessive ranges of buyer loyalty and talent to usher in new prospects.
“Generally, the direction of the company is good,” he added. “We are sitting at the continuing acceleration of a number of very strong consumer behavior patterns,” which would come with the shift to consolation garments and residential merchandise as purchasing on-line continues to develop. “Qurate is in a really unique place to take advantage.”
He credited George with reworking Qurate into “a real, digital-first e-commerce, multiplatform company,” including that he’ll be “accelerating the progress that has been made…I’m excited and ready to go. We have been having conversations for a couple of months, and I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Mike in a transition period and getting to know the business better.”
Citing some challenges forward, he mentioned, “Corporate America is figuring out how to bring the workforce back.”
He additionally cited the problem of anticipating and planning for shopper shifts. “Where exactly does consumer behavior land? We’ve had really sharp shifts in consumer behavior. Some will stay, some will go back as the pandemic lifts.”
While Qurate is a a lot totally different firm from these he’s been at earlier than, Rawlinson mentioned he’s had related expertise, contemplating that Nielsen is an organization that screens shopper conduct and is data-driven; that Nielsen and Qurate each have giant worldwide companies, and are of comparable scale, with Nielsen having 30,000 workers and Qurate, greater than 26,000.
He additionally mentioned that at Grainger, traditionally a list enterprise, he was instrumental in advancing the net enterprise, and that the mission there was to be “disruptive” in e-commerce.
Asked if changing into one of many few Black executives operating a significant retail company places him in a particular function with sure obligations, Rawlinson mentioned: “It’s hard to answer that question perfectly. But I perfectly understand that representation matters.”
It’s additionally necessary for younger folks “to see people that look like them in leadership roles, to know their own future is limitless.”
Asked if he’s contemplating recruiting extra folks of shade to Qurate, he replied: “To get the best talent, you’ve got to be looking at every talent pool imaginable. Diversity and inclusion has to be a core part of what you do every day.”
Qurate beforehand revealed five-year targets towards supporting under-represented teams throughout administration, its workforce, distributors and communities. One aim is for 25 % of supervisory and management roles to be members of underrepresented racial/ethnic teams by 2025.
Reflecting on why he’s retiring now, George mentioned that after 16 years at Qurate Retail, “There comes a point where it’s the right time on a personal level and the right time for the company. From a strategic perspective, the company is in good shape. All of our businesses are growing nicely.”
He mentioned the corporate has been “well positioned to capture the secular shift to all things for the home. More recently, we have been encouraged by the rebound of our fashion businesses.”
He additionally mentioned the timing of his departure is suitable contemplating he wished to proceed main Qurate by means of the pandemic, noting that Qurate places of work are reopening this fall, which is round when he retires.
“It’s bittersweet as I look to my retirement at the end of this year. I could not be prouder of the Qurate Retail team and the way they have evolved our business to a robust, multibrand portfolio of truly differentiated lifestyle brands,” mentioned George.
He’s credited with constructing Qurate Retail right into a multiplatform, extra entertaining and sophisticated enterprise with a variety of classes, and being instrumental in including HSN into the enterprise in 2017, bringing scale and experience into video commerce. He moved the corporate from being primarily “television-first to digitally first” with an emphasis on e-commerce, cell, social media, and livestreaming. He additionally moved the corporate from being primarily home to having a greater steadiness of producing revenues overseas and within the U.S. Entertaining and academic elements and storytelling have been added to the programming, together with cooking and journey collection and tutorials in magnificence and different areas, as have been many manufacturers, similar to Jason Wu, to the combination.
“What’s most important is to have a successor that’s far more capable to take the company to new heights,” mentioned the 59-year-old George, who in November 2020 disclosed his deliberate retirement for 2021. “I know I’m leaving the company behind with an amazing leadership team. I have no doubt David will take it forward in different areas.”
“There is a very strong leadership team in place,” the 45-year-old Rawlinson mentioned. “I have a lot of confidence in the leadership. I will make a determination if we need to add to it.”